July 01, Colombo: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said Sunday he and the United National Party (UNP) do not agree to implementing the death penalty ending a 43-year moratorium and many political parties including the opposition are against it.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said he is not able to support the death penalty proposal as taking life is against the policies of the UNP.
Wickremesinghe pointed out that the United National Party, the ruling party of the government and the main party that supported the President at the last presidential election, the Opposition led by Mahinda Rajapaksa, the JVP and the Tamil National Alliance do not agree to the reinstatement of the death penalty.
The Prime Minister said he expects to discuss these issues first with the Cabinet and then with the President and the Speaker.
Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena has unilaterally decided to implement the death penalty to send a message to the drug traffickers sparking worldwide concern over Sri Lanka reneging its commitment to the UN moratorium on death penalty made just six months back.
Speaking at the opening of the Mariarawa Water Supply Scheme, Mr. Wickremesinghe said that Sri Lanka supported the United Nations moratorium on death penalty in 2016 when Maithripala Sirisena was President and he was the Prime Minister.
Wickremesinghe recalled that when the United Nations reviewed the resolution on December 17, 2018, Sri Lanka voted in favor of the moratorium again and Maithripala Sirisena was the President and Mahinda Rajapaksa was the Prime Minister at that time.
The Premier noted that President J R Jayawardena decided to suspend the implementation of the death penalty first and former presidents R Premadasa, D.B. Wijetunge, Chandrika Bandaranaike and Mahinda Rajapaksa continued with the moratorium.
The Prime Minister made these remarks addressing a meeting held at the Mariarawa Sathi Pola premises following the opening of the Mariarawa Water Supply Scheme in the Moneragala District.
The Premier participated in the opening of several development projects in the Moneragala district in addition to the opening of the Mariarawa Water Supply Scheme.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe opened the new three storied building at Obbegoda Primary School, Moneragala, the new building at Deliva Maha Vidyalaya, the Kataragama Trade Complex, Thanamalwila Youth Corps Center and the new school building at Thanamalwila National School.
The Prime Minister also visited the Kosgas Arawa Weva and observed the progress of the reconstruction of the reservoir.